ISLAMABAD: The power regulator has assured a parliamentary panel that it will take actions to protect interest of power consumers from Karachi who have been burdened with Rs62 billion on account of power tariff during the last few years.
The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power’s sub-committee, which met on Friday, expressed serious concerns over non provision of tariff relief to consumers of the K-Electric, the sole electricity provider in the metropolis. It recommended taking measures to safeguard interests of the consumers.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) official assured the body that they would take all possible measures to protect interest of Karachi people.
The officials of Water and Power Ministry said the K-Electric was not providing required tariff relief to the consumers and therefore, the ministry had taken up the matter with Nepra.
In a letter sent to Nepra on Thursday, the ministry said rough estimates showed that with the help of excessive tariff determination, K-Electric consumers had been made to pay Rs62 billion excessive amounts in the past few years.
It said the tariff determination practice adopted for the K-Electric violates the general policy relating to tariff determination. The ministry had advised Nepra to ensure that K-Electric not only corrects these anomalies but also transfers these excessive payments back to the consumers.
The committee also expressed concerns over not producing power in line with the generation capacity. The panel’s chairman Nauman Wazir said government could end load shedding in a day if it desired.
“Gas is not being given to those power plants which have 54% efficiency rate but it is supplied to the power plants that have just 35% efficiency rate,” he said.
Officials of the National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC) said there was no forced load shedding, adding that government had asked to enforce 3-4 hour load shedding.
They said demand ranged between 8,000MW to 12,000MW in the country and the entire demand was being met.
K-Electric rejects ‘claims of excessive collection’
Meanwhile, the K-Electric rejected outright ‘media news’ with reference to any claims of excessive collection and labelled them as wrong interpretation of the tariff mechanism. It said in a statement that the consumers have been charged as per approved tariff.
It claimed that there has been no violation of any tariff regulation and all monthly fuel price variations are passed on to the consumers as per the approved tariff mechanism. Additionally, over the period of last six years the transmission and distribution losses have been reduced from 36% to 22% and 61% of the city has been exempted from load shedding, it said.
“This is a significant achievement considering that the K-Electric serves over 22 million consumers where despite great efforts, huge pockets of unplanned towns and infrastructure exist and is also infested by power theft,” the statement said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2017.
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